If the fact that summer isn’t too far away now has you thinking about what jobs you need to get done around your place before the weather gets hot, you’re probably thinking about cooling options. Ceiling fans are handy to have in many rooms of the home and outdoors in patio areas, too.
They’re power-friendly, often all that’s required to get the temperature more comfortable in many locations or at certain times, and affordable, to boot.
You can save yourself some money if you install these products yourself. However, if you’re not experienced in this area, it pays to know some common installation mistakes to avoid.
Not Measuring Up First
One error many people make when going DIY with a ceiling fan addition in their home is not measuring the ceiling slope before starting the work. It’s vital to find the right location and placement of your fan(s) to get adequate air circulation once you use the products. You need to be sure fans will hang from the right height for this to happen.
It’s vital to ensure you have the minimum necessary downrod length for the fan blade diameter you require. The downrod length affects the air delivery of the fan and how well it cools because it lowers the motor and fan blades so they clear the sloped ceiling surface of angled ceilings. The more space you create between the ceiling and the fan, the better your results will be.
This downrod length choice comes down to the height of the ceiling. You need a minimum distance between the ceiling and the blade sweep of nine to ten inches. Plus, for safety, ensure the fan will hang at least seven or 7.5 feet above the floor in a standard room or at least eight to 8.5 feet above the floor when you have high ceilings. Most fans come with a ready-to-use short downrod perfect for standard, flat, eight-foot ceilings, but if you have a higher ceiling or a sloped one, you’ll need to buy a longer downrod.
Failing to Read the Installation Manual
Correct ceiling fan installation requires understanding the specific product you’ve purchased. However, many people get themselves into trouble because they fail to read the installation manual before starting work and instead jump right into doing what they think makes sense. While you might be very practical and feel that assembling and installing a fan isn’t a big deal, it’s still wise to read the manual before installing it.
There may be an order of steps you need to take that you wouldn’t think of yourself, or there may even be something finicky about the specific product you’ve purchased that isn’t evident, especially if it’s a made-to-order product. If you get frustrated with reading dry written guides, look online and see if you can find a video made by the manufacturer or reseller that you can watch that will make the process more straightforward.
Lack of Tools
Another common mistake many people make is not gathering the tools they need before they begin work or having the wrong equipment. You don’t want to have to stop what you’re doing halfway through the installation to find extra tools or realize that you can’t finish the job right because you don’t have the necessary supplies.
What you need can vary from product to product, but typically, installation requires a four-in-one screwdriver, two-foot level, hammer, nut driver, wrench set, and needle-nose pliers. Plus, you’ll want a tape measure, wire stripper/cutter tool, and a non-contact voltage tester.
Forgetting to Turn Off the Mains Power
To keep yourself and anyone assisting you safe while you install a new fan, don’t make the worrying mistake of forgetting to turn off the mains power before you begin the work. You have to connect fan wires to your home’s electrical system, which means dealing with dangerous wiring. It’s essential to turn off the main panel power supply before removing an old fan or putting a new one up so you don’t risk electrocuting yourself, shorting circuits, starting fires, and the like.
Some other common ceiling fan installation mistakes include not removing the old electric box, wiring the unit improperly, not completely assembling the fan before installing it, and incorrectly attaching fan blades. Plus, avoid the errors of trying to do the whole job by yourself and not testing the unit comprehensively after installation.
Keep all of these factors in mind as you work, and you will reduce risk and increase the likelihood that you end up with a fan that does its job well for many years to come.